More than 13 miles of AMERICAN ductile iron pipe and nearly two dozen AMERICAN Flow Control® resilient wedge gate valves with Flex-Ring® ends are playing an important role in providing safe, affordable drinking water to fast-growing Paulding County, Georgia, one of the only counties in the metro-Atlanta region without an independent water supply.
The Richland Creek Water Supply Program started its planning process in 1998 when county citizens approved the development of a new water supply reservoir, a process that often takes up to 20 years. Since that time, and after significant efforts involving federal and state governmental agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Paulding County was granted a permit in 2015 allowing construction of the system.
Since then, a new, 305-acre reservoir has been created in addition to a new water treatment plant and two major pump stations. Two years ago, AMERICAN provided the 48-inch spiral-welded steel pipe to span the 19,000 feet from the Etowah River Intake to the new reservoir. AMERICAN’s 36-inch and 48-inch ductile iron pipe were installed to carry water from the treatment plant to existing distribution lines. The project was completed in summer 2019.
Garney Construction was the project contractor. Kelly Comstock with Brown and Caldwell served as program manager, and Robert Bartlett with Atkins Global was the design engineer.
Garney Construction Project Manager Scott Taylor admits that building a new water system isn’t an everyday occurrence, so special challenges were addressed.
“One of the challenges we overcame was working along a narrow right-of-way on a major road (Cartersville Highway) and laying 36-inch pipe while orchestrating daily lane closures,” Taylor said. “The lay was much deeper than normal due to drainage ditches along parts of the road.”
The project owner, the Paulding County Water System, was thinking long term and wanted a line that was as close to maintenance free as possible.
“We used AMERICAN poly-wrapped, zinc-coated ductile iron pipe,” Taylor said. “There are very few connections, so it’s more worry-free. Over the next several decades, these additional steps will go a long way in paying for themselves.”
Longevity was also a major criterion in the selection of AMERICAN’s 16-, 24- and 36-inch Flex-Ring resilient wedge gate valves.
“Paulding County selected Flex-Ring valves because the design provides almost twice the deflection allowed by friction-style restraints, and it also eliminates all bolts and nuts, and point loading of the pipe,” said AMERICAN Flow Control Georgia Territory Manager Bruce Shaw. “Flex-Ring offers dynamic deflection. It continues to allow deflection even after the joint is assembled.”
AMERICAN received high marks for its service. “Their planning process and delivery schedule simplified the process,” Taylor said. “Chris Ousley did the laying schedule, and it was critical to order material properly and ship correctly so installation could go smoothly. AMERICAN Customer Service Representative Bruce Dickerson and AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe/ SpiralWeld Pipe Senior Territory Manager Jeff McCullough have been great to work with. They did a good job answering any questions we, or the owner, had.”
“The Richland Creek Reservoir means everything to the citizens of Paulding County,” said former Paulding County Commissioner Tony Crowe. “As critical as infrastructure can be in Paulding County, the Richland Creek Reservoir truly is our independent water supply. I am so honored to be part of a nearly 20-year effort ensuring safe, sustainable drinking water for now and into the foreseeable future.”